The first volunteer beach cleaning session of 2014 has revealed the extent of the damage caused by the recent storms, when a team of almost 30 volunteers tackled mountains of rubbish at Ballaugh Cronk.
A total of 56 bags of rubbish, together with dozens of plastic oil drums, fishing gear and large plastic items was gathered by the 29 volunteers, but they have hardly scratched the surface, according to organiser Bill Dale.
‘The volunteers did a fantastic job, but we could have had three times as many people there and we still would not have been able to clear the rubbish,’ he said.
Ballaugh Cronk is one of a handful of points along the west and north western coastline which acts as a collection point for rubbish following a storm.
‘The severity of the recent storms and the direction of the wind has resulted in more rubbish gathering at Ballaugh than I have seen in more than seven years of running Beach Buddies.’
Meanwhile, two regular Beach Buddies volunteers have cleared another area of beach badly affected by the storms.
Sally and Sue Hardy have completed three separate sessions at Cranstal and collected 33 bags of rubbish, containing about 1,200 bottles!
‘This was a fantastic effort and I had no idea they were tackling this on their own,’ said Mr Dale. ;This is exactly what Beach Buddies is all about. Sally and Sue have been inspired to just get out there on their own without any need for us to be there and made a huge impact on their own.
‘We have small groups like them all over the island who do similar jobs, and they really are making a difference to the environment and protecting wildlife. If anyone else feels they would like to do something similar then Beach Buddies is only too happy to provide bin bags and litterpickers - and we will arrange disposal of the rubbish collected afterwards.’
• Beach Buddies will be running another team session for volunteers next weekend. Ballaugh Cronk will be visited again before the end of January.